Hopefully, by the time this issue of
The Rake is available, the weather will look a lot different
than it did when you read my inaugural style column in February. If
you were to compare the accompanying illustrations (by the talented
Firdaus Ahmed), they would look very different, too. This is down
to the passing of the seasonal torch, of course, which means all
those heavy-duty polo coats, tweed sports jackets and 14oz flannels
have been cleaned, pressed and put away, and the cottons and linens
in their more vibrant tones have entered the rotation.
This season, Drake’s have caught my
eye with their micro-wale corduroy suit in a biscuity beige. You
might be thinking that that contradicts what I’ve just said above,
and in some ways it does, as corduroy is mostly a winter cloth,
favoured because of its heat-retaining properties and heavy handle.
Drake’s, however, have proved with this suit that corduroy can be
flexible. Made in Naples, it’s unlined and features a half-canvas
construction and a three-roll-two button configuration with
flat-fronted, side-buckled trousers. Easily broken up into
separates, it’s a fantastic, easy-to-wear ready-to-wear
It’s been paired with a shirt that,
for me, verges on the adventurous. I wrote last time that I like to
keep things simple, and I do. But this two-tone butcher stripe
shirt in a super-fine cotton from Puglia-based G. Inglese was too
great to ignore. When choosing a ready-to-wear shirt for
spring/summer, opt for Italian-made, as they have a greater
understanding of the climatical demands of the season, and
consistently use lightweight cottons in fun colours and patterns. This one is exactly
that, and, with its sartorial details, such as hand-sewn crow’s
foot buttonholes, is very special. There’s been a shift away from
cutaway collars recently, but that’s irrelevant. If a collar style
suits you and your facial form, stick with it and ignore the
The tie is from Serà Fine Silk, an
accessories label based in Milan whose wares are produced in Como.
I clearly haven’t shaken off my affinity to grenadine ties, but the
diagonal stripe adds a subtle pattern clash against the shirt while
also holding it all together.
I’ve also chosen Ettinger’s canvas
tote bag, which is a style of holdall I’m most fond of. It bridges
the gap between a backpack (which in some ways I’ve grown out of)
and a briefcase (which is too formal for day-to-day use). As such,
a tote is perfect for me. Made in England, it has a central zip
compartment for valuables and a leather handle.
Finishing off the look is a pair of
Racquet sneakers by the Swedish minimalist footwear brand C.QP.
They’re sleek enough to be worn with tailoring, and as a result of
the fairly casual ensemble, work seamlessly. A brown suede
tasselled loafer could easily be swapped in for a formal lift, if
circumstances require it.